Like most major comic book conventions in North America, Emerald City Comic Con was cancelled this year in response to the still-ongoing covid-19 pandemic. Though the virus is still raging in the U.S., con producer ReedPop is confident that things will return to normal by next Northern Hemisphere winter.
With that in mind, the producer has announced the new dates for next year’s Emerald City Comic Con, set to run from December 2-5, 2021 at the Washington State Convention Centre in Seattle, WA, and the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo — better known as C2E2 — which will run from December 10-12, 2021 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.
In a statement, ReedPop president Lance Fensterman reflected on the company’s pivot to digital events in 2020 as a learning experience that’s going to influence ReedPop’s approach to programming cons in the immediate future.
“If we have learned anything from our experiences this year, it’s how resilient our fans, creators, exhibitors, and sponsors are. We’ve come together to support and uplift one another, adapting to our new normal to create meaningful experiences that capture the community and excitement felt at any one of our shows,” Fensterman said. “Now, we’re ready to look forward to 2021 and gearing up to bring you the best slate of comic con events possible, both in the real and virtual world.’
Because both ECCC and C2E2 have historically taken place closer to spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and it’s still highly unlikely that it would have been safe to hold in-person conventions so early in 2021 like that, ReedPop also plans to produce another online Metaverse event in the coming months. In addition, there will also be further digital events throughout the summer leading up to new winter start times for ECCC and C2E2. The winter though is of particular note here, given how brutal Chicago’s winters tend to be. Add the reality that December’s always a very busy month as people make holiday travel arrangements, and this unfortunate new schedule might create some extra headaches for congoers.
Though ReedPop has high hopes that it’ll be able to get back into the groove of things and put on conventions the way it used to by next year, this is all going to ultimately be determined by factors that are out of the company’s hands right now. It’d be fantastic if, by next winter, there’s a viable, affordable, accessible covid-19 vaccine available to the public that makes attending comic conventions the sort of thing people can do again. Until there’s any move on that front, though, all of this is an optimistic hope for the future.